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Identity Crisis Romney’s campaign has to move fast to define candidate before Obama does it first
The National Journal ^ | Monday, July 9, 2012 | Charlie Cook

Posted on 07/09/2012 7:06:32 PM PDT by kristinn

Full headline: Identity Crisis Mitt Romney’s campaign has to move fast to define the candidate for voters before President Obama does it first.

If President Obama’s campaign machine can define Mitt Romney before his own campaign even tries, my bet is Obama wins reelection.

It seems the Romney campaign believes that any day or dollar spent talking about anything other than the economy is a day or dollar wasted. Unquestionably, the economy’s state and direction, as well as voters’ perceptions on Obama’s handling of it—are important. Obama’s approval ratings on the subject are awful. According to the June NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 42 percent of voters approve of the way Obama has handled the economy, while 53 percent disapprove. Additionally, just 31 percent think the country is headed in the right direction; and 61 percent believe it is on the wrong track. Voters seem quite willing to fire Obama as a result.

A willingness to fire the president, however, is only one step. Voters also have to be willing to hire Romney. If the challenger is deemed unacceptable, a potentially decisive slice of the electorate could reluctantly return to the incumbent. Voters’ willingness to hire Romney is being severely damaged, at least in swing states, by the advertising efforts of the Obama campaign and Priorities USA, a pro-Obama super PAC. The ads are devastatingly tough, portraying the former Massachusetts governor as a private-equity version of Gordon Gekko, a heartless corporate barracuda who has made a fortune acquiring and looting companies, laying off workers, and ruining lives and communities. That’s the story line, anyway. These ads lead to the conclusion that Romney is not to be trusted in the Oval Office.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obama; romney
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Proving Cook's point, from The Hill:

A new poll on Monday showed that Obama has been buoyed by his campaign’s decision to spend aggressively on early advertising. Of swing-state voters who said commercials have changed their opinion on whom to vote for, some 76 percent say they now favor Obama, versus 16 percent who say they’ve switched their vote to Romney, according to a survey from USA Today/Gallup.

1 posted on 07/09/2012 7:06:39 PM PDT by kristinn
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To: kristinn

Another take

2 posted on 07/09/2012 7:11:02 PM PDT by italianquaker ( Mr Obama inherited an AAA rating and made it AA, thnx Resident Zero)
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To: kristinn

Except Obama is still in terrible shape across almost every swing state. This is a typical summer media circle jerk creating a story where there isn’t one.

3 posted on 07/09/2012 7:15:24 PM PDT by ilgipper ( November cannot come soon enough)
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To: kristinn

If we can see it and have been saying it for weeks, why can’t Romney’s team.

It is frustrating me to no end that Romney seems to be blowing this election before our very eyes.

4 posted on 07/09/2012 7:16:40 PM PDT by comebacknewt (Newt (sigh) what could have been . . .)
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To: comebacknewt

It is frustrating me to no end that Romney seems to be blowing this election before our very eyes.

His job is to ensure that no conservative gets in office. The GOP made that mistake once and they don’t intend to do it again.

5 posted on 07/09/2012 7:18:18 PM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: italianquaker
BS its a dead heat and Roomey hasn't started yet with more money.

Nothing is going to get better for Obama

Jobs , housings etc


Obama is throwing the kitchen sink and he is tied at best ( I think he is losing.)

He is running out of money just like a boxer who punches himself out

These news people act like this has already started

6 posted on 07/09/2012 7:19:05 PM PDT by scooby321 (h tones)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: freedomfiter2

Mr. RomneyCARE has long been a partner of Soros,
and during Election 2008 when he had surrogates attack
Gov. Palin during the eve of the Election,
Mr. RomneyCARE demonstrated he is a PARTNER of Obama.

But I support Mr. RomneyCARE because of the importance
of Death Panels, and more Taxes (Mr. RomneyCARE calls
them “fees”, so it is OK), and more TARP.

RomneyCARE/ObamaCARE shall be the SYMBOL OF THE GOP.

8 posted on 07/09/2012 7:22:01 PM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: kristinn

Folks, follow Charley Cook, he is never right, plus he is a total lock-stepper for Obama and the Democrat Party. Just go back to 1994 and check out his predictions on the House races in 1994, pathetic to say the least. Obama is toast, Democrat spin is going to help him!!!

9 posted on 07/09/2012 7:31:59 PM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX (My only objective is defeat and destroy Obama & his Democrat Party, politically!!!)
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To: kristinn
Positioning A President
by John Truman Wolfe

Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars the campaigns are spending marketing their respective candidates, neither have an overall position that they are communicating for their man.

It’s a shocking omission.

More shocking is the fact that the promotion of the two campaigns sounds like marketing of the Bobbsey Twins. The stance on various issues is different of course, but the overall positioning – represented by tag lines or positioning slogans – is an exercise in TweedlDum and TweedleDee PR.

The slogan of the Obama campaign, which is now the basis of his bus tour, is “Betting on America.” There’s no positioning image to go along with this, just the slogan, which, according to Breibart, is a rip off of a Clinton slogan.

But hey.

And Mitt? The tag line of the Romney campaign is “Believe in America.” Huh? Betting on America … Believe in America. Come on, guys. How about just a little differentiation?

They spend millions on surveys. The “Button” that is pushed ad nauseam on the campaign trail is Jobs. That’s all either of them talk about. And it probably is the top answer to the question, “What is the most important issue facing the country today?”

Yet, neither campaign has a properly positioned itself with Jobs. Yes, they talk about them, but words come and go. Where’s the positioning image? Or, in the words of Laura Ries’ new book, the Visual Hammer? Where’s a prominent silhouette of a hard hat over the slogan Believe in America? Such an image from the Romney campaign would communicate volumes.

The positioning for the Obama campaign in 2008 was easy. They grabbed the right word and drove it into the mind - Change. This word represented an “against” position. Bush, and the Iraq War were extremely unpopular and “Change” was change from Bush and his policies. It went down like a buttered oyster.

There was a positioning opportunity for McCain in that campaign. As the Jeremiah Wright controversy exploded across the media, McCain could have positioned Obama with Wright and his raging anti-Americanism. McCain let it go. And he lost the race.

Would McCain have won the Presidency if his campaign had challenged Obama’s assertion that he had attended that church for 20 years and never heard a word of the racist rantings? I don’t know, but the outcome of the race would have been undeniably different. Positioning works.

Opponents of John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid who had served on swift boats during the Vietnam War had no such qualms. Hammering the media with evidence of John Kerry’s misrepresentations of his service during the Vietnam War and that of other veterans, Kerry was positioned as a something of a coward and a liar and “Swiftboated” right out of the race.

Positioning is where you place your product or service or…candidate in the mind of your public. It’s dominant. It monitors the overall communications strategy.

The Obama campaign hasn’t positioned the President. They can’t use “Change” this time. And Betting on America is only for his bus tour. With big fan fare a few weeks ago, they rolled out a new word that was to position the campaign – Forward.

Eh…. Really?

10 posted on 07/09/2012 7:33:10 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: kristinn

The delusional people even here on FR are those who think that Romney had this race in the bag. Thankfully Rush today, gave the warning that Romney needs to step it up or he could lose even with the economy being terrible. Romney is allowing Obama to define him in Ohio and Romney isn’t doing anything about it with his crappy advisers playing this prevent defense.....even if Romney blitz later in August, it may be too late because just enough voters may take the devil they know than the new devil they don’t know or specifically they don’t like. All Obama need is at least one swing state and hold onto CO and NV and he wins

11 posted on 07/09/2012 8:08:29 PM PDT by Bigtigermike
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To: kristinn

post the rest of that poll..not just a preview...most of those coming to obama are his own

12 posted on 07/09/2012 8:13:45 PM PDT by lifeisagame
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To: ilgipper

and in other news....Charlie Cook smokes pot and gets paid to write stories while hes doing it....

13 posted on 07/09/2012 8:17:42 PM PDT by M-cubed
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To: Windflier
Betting on America … Believe in America. Come on, guys. How about just a little differentiation?

That should read, "Come on, Obama. How about a little differentiation?" Romney has had his tagline emblazoned on all his primary political signs for over a year if not more. Obama is now on number four or five with this latest one put forward in just the last two weeks or so. I didn't even bother to read anymore after that.

I am in the camp that says BS on this idea that Romney needs to shoot off some fireworks right now. One commenter mentioned Clinton and Dole and how Clinton had it wrapped up by the convention. Compare the economic numbers between then and now and it is apples and oranges.

And since when has Charlie Cook been a consistent successful political odds maker? Only when Dems are clearly in the position to win.

Obama is burning through cash, thrashing around, making all kinds of Romney-is-rich-and-has-money-in-offshore-banks-and-pioneered-outsourcing statements. Romney is willing to take a few hits while folks are not focusing and the polls stay relatively even. Romeny's getting soundbites that aren't just a year or two or three old but four months before the election.

As to John Kerry: I will never forget the interview with Tim Russert when Kerry was asked about his congressional testimony and his wild anti-troop stereotyping statements. In what was surely off-script, Kerry first joked about how his hair style had changed before half-hardheartedly claiming that he may have exaggerated due to passion or what not.

Anyone that saw that probably now thinks of a more recent similar example by Obama when he first went before reporters - and the waiting nation - after the horrific massacre at Fort Hood and proceeded to thank officials for a "great conference" and gave a couple shout outs, brimming with a grin, before furrowing his brow and talking about the massacre and "not to jump to conclusions."

14 posted on 07/09/2012 8:37:10 PM PDT by torchthemummy (Calvin Coolidge - "Patriotism is looking out for yourself by looking out for your Country.")
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To: torchthemummy

I don’t care for Romney but I have to say so far he
has run a well oiled campaign. I certainly hope
he has some surprises to throw coming up.
Obama seems to be flailing and failing.
It’s not a sure thing but how could anyone in their
right mind vote for him again? Wait, ok, so most of
them aren’t in their right mind.

15 posted on 07/09/2012 8:46:29 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Bigtigermike

Here in NC I’ve seen plenty of Obama’s ads attacking Romney over Bain.

Finally I’m seeing response ads, but I’m not sure they are as effective. They quote a Washington Post/Fact Check as saying the ad is misleading and false, and then shows a clip of Hillary blasting Obama for lying about her in the 2008 primary.

My criticism of the Romney response ad is that it isn’t completely clear what Obama attack he is responding too. The response ad should specifically reference the Obama attack ad. It should make clear that the attack on Romney for Bain and outsourcing are false. But it doesn’t do any of this.

Yeah I know that people who follow it closely know what the Romney ad is responding too, but I’m not sure the casual follower does, or will. It assumes too much awareness on the part of the viewer.

If Obama is smearing you as a heartless corporate raider who likes to outsource jobs and hide money in Swiss banks, then his response ads need to be specific about what they are refuting.

16 posted on 07/09/2012 8:47:31 PM PDT by Aetius
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To: kristinn
But wait, I thought that Ann Coulter and all the other slobbering Fox pundits SAID, “Romney is the ONLY one that can beat Obama”.
17 posted on 07/09/2012 8:48:20 PM PDT by annieokie
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To: torchthemummy
Romney has had his tagline emblazoned on all his primary political signs for over a year if not more.

Yeah? What is it? He hasn't reached me yet, and you know why? His team has failed to position him with the American people.

Unless one is a die hard Romney fan, all they know, is that he's the last man standing in the Republican primary, and that he was once Governor of Massachusetts. Oh, and he's got boatloads of money.

None of those perceptions were created in the minds of the public by the Romney campaign. So far, they've failed to sell a core message and persona that defines him for the people. That's what's meant by positioning. It's a marketing technique, and if Romney's people don't understand that tech and use it, they'll soon find their man irretrievably defined by events and the other side.

So far Romney's lucked out, because the Obama campaign is equally inept at defining their man.

If both sides are waiting for events to define them and their opponents, they're shooting craps.

18 posted on 07/09/2012 8:58:37 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: scooby321

I firmly believe Obama will lose in a landslide come November. No matter what he does, no matter what he says, it’s too late for the economy to turn around. Americans have endured nearly four years now of high unemployment, high foreclosures, low job creation etc. The American electorate is simply fed up and tired.

I do admit I get a big kick out of the folks here who go weak in the knees the minute any “positive” news about Obama comes out. The hand wringing, complaining, finger pointing and general lack of spine make me glad said folks are not running Romney’s campaign. Romney was not my initial choice, but I’ll admit he has run a disciplined campaign so far. He hasn’t allowed our Dear Leader to get him off message, which is the horrible economy.

Hang tight folks. Obama is imploding and it’s best for us to just get out of the way for the time being.

19 posted on 07/09/2012 9:10:49 PM PDT by Kharis13 (That noise you hear is our Founding Fathers spinning in their graves.)
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To: comebacknewt


20 posted on 07/09/2012 10:23:22 PM PDT by factmart
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